I have the pleasure to share with you the story of the empty seat and the lessons I learned from it.
One day, a long time ago, when I was a young man, I got late to Church on a Sunday morning, to find that many people were standing up instead of sitting down for lack of seats. The seats in the Church were limited that Sunday. There were many visiting Christians.
I had to join those who were standing to stand up.
But when I looked two benches ahead of where I was standing, I saw an empty seat – the only empty seat. For a long time, it was empty. No one took it. I told myself that surely it was reserved for some body. Many important personalities used to attend Mass in that Church. Hence, I jumped to the conclusion that it was reserved for one if them.
I guess the others around me thought the like me. None of us bothered to ask; and so no one took the seat. It remained unoccupied.
After a very long while, a young lady came in and walked straight to the seat and sat down without asking anybody.
I expected someone to whisper to her that the seat had been reserved. Nobody did. Nobody had tried to stop her when she was sitting down. Nobody questioned why she sat there. She occupied the seat till the Mass ended.
It turned out that the seat had not been reserved for anybody as I had thought. It was an empty seat that waited for anyone ready to take it. That person came – the woman; and took it. Those of us who had been there before her and never occupied it suffered throughout the Mass as we had to stand up.
This incident set my mind to work. It is a story that teaches many lessons. What do you learn from it?
I see a lesson on courage and self confidence. The lady exhibited self confidence. What do you think.
Many people jump to wrong conclusions every day like I did about the seat.
Why did I not find out? Had I asked, surely I would have been told it wasn’t reserved for any body and I would have occupied it.
I paid the price of my failure to seek and get the right information by standing throughout the Mass.
Information is power. When you are informed, you are placed in a position to take useful decisions. When you are not informed, you take wrong decisions. Hence, we must always seek to get correct, not fake information.
Another lesson has to do with opportunities. Opportunities open up to us everyday and we fail to take them because we do not see them. The reason may be we are not informed or we have jumped to a wrong conclusion about the situation.
If we do not take an opportunity that opens to us, someone may come from behind and take it.
We have to be vigilant and smart and seize the opportunities that God places on our path.
As you go about life today, be attentive to the things that will happen around you. Opportunities will open up. Seize your opportunity before someone comes from behind and does so.